Bull Family

Academic Upgrading

Ayla Bull (front) and her parents Leroy and Lorna of Maskwacis First Nation are upgrading together at NorQuest’s Wetaskiwin campus.

Enhancing the family unit through education

For the Bulls of Maskwacis First Nation life is built around a simple principle: family.

“Birds of a feather stick together,” says mom, Lorna. “Three heads are better than one,” says daughter, Ayla. “When we help each other that gives us less of a chance of failure,” says dad, Leroy.

This is a family that dances together – Leroy and Ayla are hoop dancers and Lorna stiches all the regalia by hand – they dream of the future together, they pray together, and now they study together.

“There are a lot of things I need to improve on for my community and my family,” says Leroy, who along with his wife and daughter is enrolled in the college’s Academic Upgrading program in Wetaskiwin. “My goal is to be a psychologist.”

For mom, who already has a Health Care Aide certificate from NorQuest, her goal is to become a psych nurse. Ayla wants to be a dental assistant.

“Having my parents with me at school is great,” says Ayla. “When I have to miss a class (she is a single parent), I can go to my parents and they can help me with what I missed. Or if there is something I don’t get, they can tell me what they thought about it.”

The family is in the game of chasing excellence through personal improvement, whether that be in the form of seeking education, helping their community, or dancing.

“We have really developed an understanding of what’s important,” says Lorna.

The family’s next goal is to become the best hoop dancers in the world. They will travel to the World Hoop Dancing Championships in Phoenix, Arizona in February.